Think Nashik 20 or even 10 yrs ago, and people mentioned temples, pilgrimages & the Kumbh Mela. But today, the first word from most people’s lips is ‘wine.’
This is thanks to Rajeev Samant who, having returned from California, was having trouble sourcing good quality, affordable wine in India. Quickly realising that if this situation was to be resolved he’d need to do it himself, and fortuitously owning land in Nashik, he set about setting up the Sula Winery. Vines were planted and the first bottles produced in 1999.
It’s gone from strength to strength & they now produce a LOT of wine including red, white, rose and fizz, and have an international award to their name. This something they are proud to show off and it being a pink fizz, I was happy to pay homage to their finest wine.
But, more than that, Rajeev, appreciating that wine is a drain on the earth’s resources, has covered almost every roof with solar panels, built a rain water harvesting tank, doesn’t use pesticides & has also adopted the local village, giving employment, schools and good medical facilities. Plus there’s a charming story around each of the names chosen for wines, properties etc.
Then comes the other add ons – the resorts. The Source is their 65 room property, think Sula on speed! Popular, busy, branding galore, wine tours and tastings, a choice of restaurants (the food is excellent) a pool, piped music and cycles. It’s a hive of activity. I wasn’t expecting to like it, but it draws you in, the music, ambiance & friendly staff (not to mention the best stocked mini bar I’ve ever seen, complete with a bottle of each of their wines!) and you can’t help but pick up on its vibe…..
Beyond, their resort down the road, is calmer, 5 rooms & a 3 room private villa, lake facing, no piped music or crowds, just peace & quiet and yes, well stocked fridges!
Naturally, I had to partake in the wine tasting, Vikas their marketing guy was knowledgeable, good company & generous with his pour. Could this day get any better? Well, as it happens, Sula has now bought York wines next door, and well, my research wouldn’t have been complete without sampling both!
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